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20140907 BackButNotTheSame

2008-03-01 | Tell me a story

I commute over an hour each way, three times a week, and http://audible.com is just the thing to turn the commute into an entertaining (or learning) experience. In the months since I signed up, I've listened to historical fiction, self improvement, and business books.

2008-02-10 | Comparing iGTD and OmniFocus?

I've been using iGTD since I got the MacBook? Pro last summer, but haven't been that happy with it. I've read the book, I know what I'm supposed to do, but iGTD just doesn't feel right. I tend to leave too much in my inbox because I can't find anywhere else to put it. It's not a project, just something I want to remember to do one of these days.

Enter OmniFocus? and "Single-Action Lists". THIS is what I needed! I suppose there's nothing stopping me from approximating it in iGTD by creating a project called "Reading", but now that I look I see I've already created a _Context_ called "Reading". So this is entirely my fault for using the tool incorrectly... or is it? OmniFocus? just feels right, when I look for something, it's right there where I expect it to be.

iGTD has a 2.0 alpha available, and I tried it out briefly. Contexts are being replaced by tags along with other changes such as tabbed views.

After two days, my initial impression is that I'll stick with OmniFocus?.

2006-06-27 | Membership has its privileges

No, wait, that's American Express. This is different. This is membership in the Apache Software Foundation.

When I joined Struts a year ago, I was reliably informed that "Apache will change your life." This has turned out to be true on _so_ many levels. Compared to a year ago, I'm a better developer, a better team member, and all around a better person for having been involved in Apache projects. And this is just a continuation of what started back in 2002 when I asked my very first question on the Struts user list.

I look forward to the next chapter of this adventure.

2006-06-17 | Surprise Invitation

It was a year ago today that I was invited to join the Struts team. What a year it has been! It's fitting, then, that it was a Friday exactly a year after that original invitation that I received this one: Invitation to the Apache Software Foundation Membership. I'm sure I haven't taken it all in yet. :)

2006-06-14 | Neal Ford at Phoenix JUG

So, [blogging] really isn't working out, mainly because I don't like the Nucleus user interface for adding and editing items. Maybe a switch to WordPress is in order, but it will have to wait for some of that elusive "free time". Meanwhile, we'll try the wiki-as-blog approach.

Tonight was the monthly Phoenix Java User Group meeting, and we were lucky to have Neal Ford come and give his 'Productive Programmer' talk from the NFJS tour. I'm pleased to report that I already do quite a lot of the things he talked about, but I need to use more keyboard shortcuts in IDEA, finally figure out regular expressions, and learn a scripting language like Ruby. Neal is also a JEdit fan, and we talked about how nothing is better for XML.

Neal also spoke briefly about DSL -- Domain Specific Languages. Which of these would you rather work with?

   <contact>
      <date>2006-06-15</date>
      <summary>Took Joe to lunch to discuss a donation</summary>
      <detail>Joe has expressed interest in ... and we discussed the possibility of ...</detail>
   </contact>
or
    contact : 
       date : 2006-06-15
       summary : Took Joe to lunch to discuss a donation
       detail : Joe has  expressed interest in ... and we discussed the possibility of ...

Then he showed how you can do this in Java:

Contact contact = (new Contact()).onDate("2006-06-15").withSummary("Took Joe to lunch...").withDetail("Joe has expressed interest...);

Joshua Bloch showed this syntax in his Effective Java: Reloaded session at JavaOne, though I don't think he called it a Domain Specific Language. (Then again, that was on the last day, and the entire week was a blur of information and activity.)

Neal mentioned JavaCC? and ANTLR... and I made the connection between a DSL and the weird validation syntax we use in Struts Action. It turns out that Struts uses an external DSL (validation.xml) that contains another DSL ( *this* == ${var1} ).


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